A couple of weeks ago the tasting of the evening was from five closed distilleries, a very enjoyable sitdown with a large crowd at the local nmwl.
Littlemill, 1991, 16 yo, 46 % (Murray McDavid)
Nose: this has to be one of the stranges associations I’ve ever had in a whisky – every year at christmas we eat dried sheep ribs that are steamed on pieces of wood, and when this cools down and you digg in late at night when you get that munchies it has a very distinct smell…. this is what I initially thought when nosing this for the first time! When the initial shock was over it smelled very salt and had a distinct wet/harsh smell. Right now I was worried about the taste!
Palate: eucalyptus, some citrus is there, but then a dry malt cocoa comes through.
Finish: malt, very malty, then some salt and a distinct dried piece of wood finishes up the taste.
A Interesting dram, but nothing more than that.
Rosebank, 1990, 18 yo, 48 % (Dun Bheagan) – sherrybutt 611
Nose: honney and lots of floral smells on this one, the sherry cask have had its influence.
Palate: intense sherry hit on the tounge, then more mellow as it goes over in a much smoother sweetness.
Finish: suprising spice finish after the smoothness experienced earlier.
Dallas Dhu 1975, 1975 31 yo, 50 % (Closed Distilleries)
Nose: starts out as sweet honey, but let this one sit in the glass for a bit: after a while it came through with a cotton candy sweetness that was very intens. Actually it reminded me of the Ardbeg Renaissance after it too had a bit of air.
Palate: oh, the sweet round honney from the nose is there! lots of fruits, especially after adding a couple of drops of water in it.
Finish: it just stays there, a nice long aftertaste that finishes up the very good balance that this bottle gives you.
This was the winner of the evening, no doubt in that! Not too many bottles left in Norway, and the pricetag is a bit high, but who knows, maybe one will find its way here soon….
Brora, 24 yo, 48,5 % (Dun Bheagan) – Fino sherry cask 1424
Nose: round butter-oil and some iodine?
Palate: sherry, no doubt about that, a bit harsh maybe? That put me off a bit. A few drops of water opened it up and made it much rounder around the edges, much more enjoyable.
Not the best Brora I’ve had, shows that Brora isn’t bulletproof all the time ( doesn’t come close to the 20yo that I tried at L&B in Amsterdam a couple of years ago )
Port Ellen, 1982, 46 % (Berry Brothers & Rudd) – cask 2030/2035
Nose: sweet smoke.
Palate: this has what I can descibe as a very long sweet smoke blanket in my mouth that went on and on! Port Ellen is absolutely one of my favourite distilleries!
To finish up after the official tasting a Caol Ila 12yo Dun Behgan ( where can I get a bottle of this!! ), a Linkwood 14yo Dun Behgan and a Longmorn 15. A very good evening for the closed distilleries, and the Dallas Dhu came out at the top, no-one even close to it (ok, the Port Ellen then, it was very enjoyable)